THE LATEST BOUTIQUES: HUBLOT, AUDI & CHANEL

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Dior Homme’s latest store in Miami

Burberry debuts retail as theatre in Chicago, Marni launches in three Chinese Mainland cities, as Hublot takes to the Philippines, United States, China & UAE.

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Audi, Ahmedabad, Dubai

Audi in partnership with Nixynova Motoren Pvt. Ltd have moved into a bigger showroom in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, which will now display entire range of Audi cars that is on offer in the country.

The luxury brand has also opened its largest dealership in Dubai with local dealer Al Nabooda Automobiles, which will be display up to 57 new vehicles over three levels. The Audi Terminal Dubai features floor-to-ceiling screens displaying the complete Audi model range including all equipment options, features and technical details on a 1:1 scale.

Source: Rush Lane, Motor Authority

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Boucheron, Hong Kong

Boucheron has debuted a new retail design concept in Hong Kong, a model that will be replicated across all the brand’s stores starting with an overhaul in Paris. The 80sqm space has been designed with luminosity in mind, harking back to the first atelier on Paris’ Place Vendome, where the workshop was flooded with light that highlighted the brilliance of the stones.

Source: FashionMag

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Breguet, Abu Dhabi

Breguet has unveiled its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, located in the high standing commercial building “Etihad Towers”. The 32nd monobrand boutique worldwide showcases a mix of timepieces and gem-set Haute Joaillerie creations across 60sqm, in keeping with its global retail design concept launched in 2012.

Source: Breguet
Burberry, Chicago

Burberry has launched its second largest store in North America in Chicago, meshing digital, entertainment and fashion in one seamless experience across five-floors. The store houses the first beauty consultation counter in North America and will carry an exclusive, limited edition collection of outerwear and non-apparel for both men and women, created to celebrate Burberry in Chicago.

Source: Brand Channel

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Chanel Timepieces, Paris

Chanel has opened its first dedicated watch store in Europe on the first floor of Paris department store Galeries Lafayette, to house its Première and J12 lines in addition to the new Mademoiselle Privé collection. The 25sqm concession is decorated in the brand’s signature black, beige and gold.

Source: WWD

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Chopard, Abu Dhabi

Chopard has launched its latest boutique at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, in partnership with Abu Dhabi distributor Al Manara International Jewellery. Created by architect Thierry Despont, the décor reflects that of a welcoming living room boasting fine woods for the floors and leather for the wall panels, store fixtures and furniture fronts and luscious velvet for curtains and upholstery.

Source: Luxos

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Christian Louboutin, London

Christian Louboutin has unveiled its first store dedicated to men in the United Kingdom, to carry a range of shoes, sneakers, bags and accessories. The 170sqm Dover Street flagship has been realised by New York architects 212box, the same architects responsible for Christian Louboutin stores worldwide.

Source: FashionMag

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Dior Homme, Miami

Dior Homme is the latest brand to launch in Miami’s new Design District, showcasing sleek architecture, minimalist decor, and luxe materials. To highlight the opening, Dior Homme collaborated with artist and photographer, Bruce Weber, to curate an exclusive film titled, “Can I Make the Music Fly,” that can be viewed here.

Source: The Fashionisto

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Elie Saab, Geneva

Elie Saab has opened a new 155sqm boutique overlooking Lake Leman in Geneva, Switzerland. Saab himself, in collaboration with architect Chakib Richani, has designed the dual-level space. The store will showcase the designer’s accessories and ready-to-wear items from both the autumn and winter 2012-2013 and pre-fall 2012 collections.

Source: VMSD

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Eterniti, London

London-based boutique luxury carmaker, Eterniti Motors, has officially launched its first showroom with a 930sqm facility in Park Royal, northwest London. Eterniti-owned showrooms will open in Asia in 2013, beginning with Hong Kong, which will serve as the company’s Asia-Pacific hub.

Source: Eterniti

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Georg Jensen, London

Danish luxury lifestyle brand Georg Jensen, has unveiled its newest concession in Selfridges, London, designed by British architects Mark Pinney Associates. The 20sqm space is housed within the store’s designer jewellery room, showcasing fine jewellery, luxury fashion jewellery as well as the heritage range and contemporary silver pieces.

Source: Retail Jeweller

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Gucci, Gurgaon

Gucci has opened its fifth and largest store in India at The Oberoi in Gurgaon, New Delhi, in keeping with the new design concept by Creative Director Frida Giannini. The near-400sqm space has been realised in ribbed glass, warm polished gold, smoked mirror and smoked bronze glass, recalling the elegance and richness of the Art Deco era.

Source: Daily Mail

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Hublot, Atlanta, Abu Dhabi, Dalian, Manila

Hublot has unveiled the first of five North American boutiques to open in the coming three years, with a 92sqm space in Atlanta, operated in partnership with Ares Distributors. The brand has also opened a second boutique in Abu Dhabi, and a second boutique in Dalian, in partnership with Jinhua Watch & Jewellery.

Finally, the very first Hublot boutique in the Philippines has debuted at the newly opened Bonifacio High Street Central mall, Manila. The boutique design concept creatively reflects Hublot’s DNA of luxury and innovative design, bringing to life its vision of fusion.

Source: Hublot

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Ittierre, Milan

Ittierre Group – producer of contemporary lines such as Pierre Balmain, C’N’C, Aquascutum, GF Ferré, Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld Paris – has debuted its first temporary department store in Milan. Housed over 1000sqm in Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, IT’S 30 MANZONI will offer principal collections of the group’s licensed brands.

Source: Vogue Italia

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IWC, Beijing, Miami, Sao Paulo

IWC has unveiled flagship boutiques in Beijing, Miami & Sao Paulo. The Beijing store features a 300sqm bi-level glass cube facade, a brainchild of in-house designers and architects. Each boutique is fitted out with sumptuous dark woods and exquisite materials, inviting customers to explore the six fascinating watch families along with boutique-exclusive editions.

Source: IWC

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Jaguar Land Rover, Beijing

Jaguar Land Rover has inaugurated its100th retail space in China, with the Beijing Changjiushida 4S Center in the heart of the city. The state-of-the-art repair centre and showroom, operated in partnership with the Changjiu Group, will have a workforce of around 110 people.

Source: Luxuo

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Jitrois, Beijing

In partnership with Keyijili Ltd, Jean-Claude Jitrois has opened a flagship store in Beijing, marking the brands first boutique in Asia. The 250sqm space has been designed by Christophe Pillet, the architect responsible for all of the brands stores, in a luxury shopping centre in the Chaoyang district of the Chinese capital.

Source: FashionMag

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Marni, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang

Marni has unveiled three Chinese flagship boutiques, in Shanghai’s REEL shopping centre, Nanjing’s Deji Plaza and a store in Shenyang, brining its presence to nine locations in the country. Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni worked closely with architecture firm Sybarite, the creators of the brand’s Beijing store, to create the spaces.

Source: Luxuo

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Montblanc, Abu Dhabi

Montblanc has opened its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, offering the exclusive Bespoke Nib Service, which is currently available in just four Montblanc boutiques worldwide. The store will house luxury watches, jewellery and leather goods, as well as writing instruments and its customisation service. Curacao boutique pictured

Source: Luxos

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Pucci, New York City

Pucci creative director Peter Dundas has unveiled the world’s largest Pucci store in New York, designed in collaboration with French architect Joseph Dirand, modelled after the Palazzo Pucci in Florence. The 250sqm store will form the design basis for future retail locations and feature the entire collection of Pucci ready-to-wear and accessories.

Source: Bloginity

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TAG Heuer, Geneva

TAG Heuer has opened its first boutique in Geneva, with a 100sqm space located on Rue Robert-Céard. The store will house the brand’s Lifestyle collection of accessories, as well as a range of sunglasses and luxury communication devices, Meridiist, Link and Racer, specially conceived by TAG Heuer.

Source: FHH

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Vacheron Constantin, Lucerne

Vacheron Constantin has chosen Lucerne, in German-speaking Switzerland, for its latest boutique at 10 Kapellplatz. This warm and intimate setting is designed to offer a full immersion into the world of a company combining tradition with dynamic creativity.

Source: FHH

For more in the series of The Latest Boutiques, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Boutiques: Chloé, Brioni & Shang Xia
The Latest Boutiques: Berluti, Dior & Saint Laurent Paris
The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Breguet & Assouline


© Luxury Society, The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Audi & Chanel, 10 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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HOW THE LUXURY INDUSTRY IS LEAVING $1.7 TRILLION ON THE TABLE

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Douglas Gollan, co-founder of Elite Traveler magazine, explains why the luxury industry’s continued robust performance is coming, despite largely missed opportunities.

My mother used to always tell me I succeeded “in spite of myself.” It was her way of telling me while my intentions and instincts and many of my actions may have been right, I was making whatever the task was more difficult than it had to be.

One could argue that the luxury industry’s continued robust performance is coming despite missing some large opportunities.

A recent report by wealth researcher Wealth-X found some 185,000 households worldwide with a Net Worth of at least $30 million. These families – commonly referred to as UHNW – or Ultra High Net Worth – cumulatively are worth between $25 Trillion and $40 Trillion depending on which report one reads.

They are without doubt the “heavy users” of luxury goods and services simply because they can afford to be. After all, who else is spending $5,000 a night on suites at luxury hotels and buying $50,000 watches or $80,000 necklaces. A 2011 Washington Post research project found that U.S. households in six major markets couldn’t make ends meet despite having a Household Income of $250,000, a level considered fairly robust by media buyers.


“ Ultra High Net Worth’s are without doubt the “heavy users” of luxury goods and services simply because they can afford to be.”


The kicker was that these families didn’t even have luxury cars, didn’t buy designer fashion and had an annual vacation budget of just $3,000. In New York this Mass Affluent family was running a deficit of nearly $30,000. In other words, there was very little upside marketing to these consumers. Hundreds of brands were competing for one or two luxury purchases per year, generally for no more than a couple thousand dollars.

Greg Furman, the Founder and CEO of The Luxury Marketing Council recently told me, “luxury companies need to be more focused on selling more watches to the person who already buys a half dozen watches a year than the first watch to a person who can’t pay his rent.” He added, that as luxury companies extend their product ranges they need to invest more in educating UHNW consumers, including advertising. He uses the term “share of wallet.”

As part of a white paper I am currently working on, we are trying to understand how much these UHNW households currently spend cumulatively across a variety of luxury product and service categories – and how deep their pocket books truly are. In other words, how much more could they spend if properly educated and motivated.


“ Hundreds of brands were competing for one or two luxury purchases per year, generally for no more than a couple thousand dollars ”


The categories we are looking at include automotive, jewelry, watches, fashion and accessories, hotels, resorts, spas, villas, adventure travel, yacht rentals (not purchases), renovating and refurnishing residences and collectibles.

Obviously there is a lot of guesswork with the formulas but using research we did with Prince & Associates that included personal interviews with over 600 private jet and fractional jet owners, the current figure comes out at around $300 billion annually. That would equate to about $1.6 million in spending for each of these 185,000 UHNW households. It would also register at only around one percent or less of Net Worth.

Interestingly, as we look at numerous other surveys of luxury lifestyle spending from Ipsos, American Affluence Research Center and Unity Marketing with Mass Affluent consumers to create a range of scenarios, we believe that the potential spending of these UHNW families could be over $2 trillion!

For the Global CEO of any major luxury brand or conglomerate, I feel pretty sure they all have well developed strategies for China and E-marketing. These are considered key areas all luxury companies need to be focused on. However, I am not sure if I would find any of these same, successful companies having a Global UHNW Marketing Officer responsible for a Global UHNW strategy with a single focus to get more spend from these UHNWs and centralized authority.


“ Luxury brands have well developed strategies for China & e-Marketing, but how many have a global UHNW strategy?”


Yes, I know there are the polo sponsorships and at the country level lots of wining and dining and event invites for key customers. What I think has slipped through the cracks is these best prospects are now not in town or even in the country most of the time. I always like to say “private jets set the rich people free.” And in fact, one Richemont executive I met with referred to this group as “Homeless with 20 Homes.” Burberry has dubbed them the TLCs, short for Traveling Luxury Consumers. Global Nomads is another moniker.

Mykolas D. Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X, was right to the point: “The growing trend of the ultra wealthy choosing to establish residences in the most cosmopolitan cities around the world has implications for all professionals operating in the financial services and luxury sectors. Professionals need to understand these ultra wealthy clients, who defy being categorized by geographical location, should they wish to create consistent strategies of approach.”

Luxury houses today are still structured on a country basis with lots of country management and lots of local focus. It is not uncommon to be questioned, ‘what if your readers buy when they are in another country?’ I do understand everyone has their own revenue targets to hit. Being a global magazine, it means that some readers who are ‘based’ in the U.S. may in fact buy when they go to London or Hong Kong but at the same time readers from South America, the Middle East or Europe probably do a good deal of their buying in the U.S.


“ It’s easier to sell lots of stuff to rich people than poor people – Milton Pedraza, CEO, The Luxury Institute.”


It underscores the point that the luxury companies are enjoying success ‘despite themselves.’ Clearly, as Rambus notes, these UHNW families live a global lifestyle. A recent Financial Times piece profiled a couple who hop from London to Venice for lunch if it looks like a rainy day, and reported that today’s Super Rich follow the good weather, good schools, good tax regimes and good entertainment as they fly around on their private jets.

Milton Pedraza, the CEO of Luxury Institute once told me, “It’s easier to sell lots of stuff to rich people than poor people.” Even if the numbers I am looking at are wrong by double, luxury brands are leaving about $850 billion in sales in the pockets of UHNW customers who just need to be motivated to spend. Either way, it’s a bigger opportunity than China, bigger than the Internet, and right out there every day around the world at the nearest FBO. That’s the acronym for private jet terminal.


To further investigate Wealth & Affluence on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

The Dangers of Homogenising the Wealthy: Ledbury Research
Key Insights from The Wealth Report 2012
Luxury’s Mixed Messages in a Yo-Yo Economy


Douglas Gollan is Group President and Co-Founder of Elite Traveler Media Group, launched in 2001, based in New York. The company publishes Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine, with BPA audited distribution in over 100 countries worldwide by private jet.

It also publishes an Asia Edition of Elite Traveler, Elite Traveler Superyachts, Elite Traveler Hotels/Resorts/Spas Annual, Elite Traveler Annual Watch Guide and hosts over 60 Destination Guides for UHNW consumers at Elitetraveler.


© Luxury Society, How The Luxury Industry Is Leaving $1.7 Trillion On The Table, 28 June 2012, by Douglas Gollan.


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THE LATEST APPOINTMENTS: CARTIER, CACHAREL & CHRISTIAN DIOR

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Raf Simons has been appointed as creative director of Christian Dior, succeeding John Galliano.

 

The Latest Appointments at Starwood Hotels, Christie’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier, YSL Beauté, Sonia Rykiel, PPR, Bentley Motors, Akris & Cacharel

The Dior saga is finally over. After one year of speculation – where everyone from Riccardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs, Kayne West, Alber Elbaz, Alexander Wang and even the disgraced Galliano himself were rumoured to be taking the top spot – Raf Simons has been confirmed to head womenswear and haute couture, whilst Kris Van Assche continues to head design at Dior Homme.

Over at Richemont, group manufacturing director Jan Rupert is stepping down to focus on other activities and to broaden his remit within the family of companies controlled by Johann Rupert. Whilst Mr. Rupert will remain an executive director of the group, Richard Lepeu, Richemont’s deputy chief executive, will oversee the group’s manufacturing strategy as of April 1.

At PPR, Gucci America’s president Laura Lendrum has resigned to pursue other opportunities according to WWD. Ms. Lendrum joined Gucci in 1997, and moved to Yves Saint Laurent America as president in 2001. Gucci president and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco will oversee the Americas region in the interim until the company names a successor.

Raf Simons, Creative Director, Dior

Ending a year of speculation, Belgian designer Raf Simons has been named as the next artistic director of Christian Dior, following his recent exit from Jil Sander. Mr. Simons will be in charge of haute couture, women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, starting with the couture show in July, while keeping his eponymous men’s line. Kris Van Assche remains in his position at Dior Homme.

Source: NYTimes
Stanislas de Quercize, CEO, Cartier

Cartier has appointed Stanislas de Quercize to take over from Bernard Fornas as chief executive of top-of-the-range jewellery and watchmaker Cartier. Mr. De Quercize is currently serving as CEO of fellow Richemont subsidiary Van Cleef & Arpels, and will replace Mr Fornas at the end of the year, when he is due to retire.

Source: Reuters
Joshua Schulman, President, Bergdorf Goodman

Following his departure from Jimmy Choo in late 2011, Joshua Schulman has been named president of U.S. luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. Prior to his tenure as CEO of Jimmy Choo, Mr. Schulman served as executive vice president at the Gucci Group, where he oversaw worldwide merchandising and wholesale for Yves Saint Laurent, and served as worldwide director of Gucci women’s ready-to-wear.

Source: WWD
Stephan Bezy, General Manager, YSL Beauté

Joining the Management Committee of L’Oreal Luxe, Stephan Bezy has been appointed International General Manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. Mr. Bezy joined L’Oréal in 1991 and has since served as global President at Redken, International General Manager at Shu Uemura and General Manager of Cacharel.

Source: Premium Beauty News
Management Team, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood has restructured its executive team following the retirement of three senior leaders, Matt Avril, President of the Hotel Group; Denise Coll, President of Starwood North America; and Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific.

Currently president and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Sergio Rivera, has been promoted to co-president of Starwood Americas. Osvaldo Librizzi who assumes primary responsibility for Latin America joins him as co-president of Starwood Americas. Stephen Ho, currently Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Starwood China, has been promoted to President of Asia Pacific. And finally currently head of Starwood’s operations for China, Qian Jin, has been promoted to the title of President of Greater China.

Source: PR Newswire
Vincent Gillet, Brand Chief, W & Le Meridien

Starwood has appointed Vincent Gillet as brand chief for W Hotels and Le Meridien brands, replacing Eva Ziegler. Mr. Gillet has spent the last two decades working on well-known luxury brands for LVMH, Chanel and Pernod Ricard, followed by a three-year tenure as chief marketing officer at Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

Source: USA Today
Eric Langon, Managing Director, Sonia Rykiel

Eric Langdon has been appointed as managing director of Sonia Rykiel effective April 16, where he will report to CEO Jean-Marc Loubier, also CEO of Fung Brands, which acquired an 80 per cent stake in the French fashion house in February. Most recently Mr. Langon served as chief operating officer at Lancel.

Source: WWD
Katrina Burchell, Intellectual Property Director, PPR

Katrina Burchell has been charged with the task of re-organising and monitoring PPR’s Intellectual Property function, joining the French conglomerate as Intellectual Property Director. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Burchell headed the Trademarks, copyrights and domain names at Unilever group.

Source: 4-Traders
Emile Rubenfield, CEO, Carolina Herrera

Emilie Rubinfeld has been appointed vice president of global marketing and communications, in a newly created title at Carolina Herrera. Most recently Ms. Rubinfeld served as senior vice president of marketing and communications at Akris, following tenure as vice president of marketing at Giorgio Armani Corp.

Source: WWD
Jinqing Caroline Cai, Managing Director, Christie’s China

Auction house Christie’s has appointed its first managing director in China, Jinqing Caroline Cai, effective June 1. A founder of the Brunswick Group, a global PR firm in Beijing, Ms. Cai will manage the office and oversee all activities involving the Chinese marketplace.

Source: JustLuxe
Katie Reed, Associate Vice President, Akris

Katie Reed has joined Akris as associate vice president of marketing and communications, following service at Patek Philippe North America, as public relations and communications director. Ms. Reed will oversee all areas of marketing, advertising, public relations and special events in the U.S.

Source: WWD
Kevin Rose, Sales & Marketing Chief, Bentley Motors

As part of a reshuffle of senior marketers within Volkswagen Group UK, Kevin Rose has joined Bentley Motors as its new board level sales and marketing chief, taking over from Alasdair Stewart. Mr. Rose joins from parent group Volkswagen’s China business, where he was executive vice president for sales.

Bentley has also named Andrea Baker as head of media relations, who most recently served as head of public relations with Porsche Cars Great Britain.

Source: Marketing Week
Source: JustLuxe.com
Pascal d’Halluin, CEO, Cacharel

Pascal d’Halluin has been appointed chief executive officer of Cacharel, succeeding managing director Marc Ramanantsoa, effective March 19. Mr. d’Halluin worked with L’Oréal for eight years before taking over as CEO of Lee Cooper France in 1994.

Source: Just Style
Michael Burgess, President, Saks Direct

Saks Inc. has named Michael Burgess president of Saks Direct, reporting to Denise Incandela, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Mr. Burgess was most recently led merchandising, marketing, consumer information technology and other functions of the consumer division of FTD, the florist, which is owned by United Online Inc.

Source: WWD
Michael Kingston, SVP & CIO, Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus Group has named Michael R. Kingston senior vice president and chief information officer, succeeding Phillip Maxwell, who earlier this month announced his retirement. Earlier, Mr. Kingston served as vice president, applications at Coach Inc. and international director of information services at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Source: WWD

For more in the series of The Latest Appointments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Appointments: Givenchy, Jil Sander & Yves Saint Laurent
The Latest Appointments, Pucci, Tod’s & Girard-Perregaux
The Latest Appointments, Bulgari, Labelux & Net-a-Porter


© Luxury Society, The Latest Appointments: Cartier, Cacharel & Christian Dior, 17 April 2012, by Sophie Doran


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THE FUTURE OF FASHION WEEK, DECIDEDLY DIGITAL

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KCD’s Digital Fashion Shows technology could mean the end of the ‘front row’ as we know it

KCD’s Digital Fashion Shows platform wins the approval of editors and designers, but does it pose the potential to negate the need for the press?

“I was dubious about the technology thing at first but it’s become the complete norm now,” declared British designer Roksanda Ilincic to Vogue UK, following the news that PR powerhouse KCD is to launch complete digital coverage of shows, debuting later this week at New York Fashion Week.

“I think digital fashion shows will definitely be a success,” she continued, “but on the other hand, it will be very different from when people actually see and feel the clothes at a show.”

For decades, the catwalk has been the fundamental place for designers to reach retail buyers, magazine editors and flaunt relationships with influential stylists and celebrities. Digital technology has more recently extended the reach of the runway to consumers and bloggers, whilst the Internet alone has facilitated rapid sharing of complete collections by both brands and the media.


“I think digital fashion shows will be a success, but it will be very different from when people actually see & feel the clothes at a show.”


That said, the most innovative digital catwalk projects have so far focused sharply on consumers. Burberry has led the pack with Runway to Reality (for VIP clients to shop the runway) and last season’s Tweetwalk (for the aspirational advocates on Twitter).

Dolce & Gabanna, Louis Vuitton, Viktor & Rolf and Gucci have all called upon live-stream technology to share their runways with the world, but aside from the selective but brilliant video coverage from Style.com, detail, craftsmanship, inspiration, beauty and construction are often issues left immediately overlooked.

This is all set to change should the fashion set embrace KCD’s Digital Fashion Shows platform, which co-president Ed Filipowski claims will provide “all the information and materials needed to review, cover and potentially buy the collection, just like a physical show.” Uncharacteristically democratic, the KCD model extends a front-row invitation to all invitation-only guests and behind the scenes access to match.


“The platform provides all the information and materials needed to review, cover and potentially buy the collection, just like a physical show.”


Designers pay $150,000 to $300,000 – the approximate cost of a small-to-medium-size show – to share their collection with its password protected guests, who can view the show on computer, tablet or mobile. Designers are required to display looks head-to-foot and provide detail shots, information on the clothes and beauty notes for the use of editors and buyers (WSJ).

The concept has already been celebrated by designer Paul Smith, who believes that the “idea allows a brand to say exactly what it wants to about its collection” and describe collections in all the details the brand feels necessary.

“Suzy Menkes might simply describe a ‘leather jacket’, while we can say what exactly it’s made of, and why it’s the most beautiful item in the world. I’ve struggled in the past with journalists getting it wrong – calling my prints ’computer-generated” when they were actually hand-painted fabrics, for example. So it would make quite a difference to be able to say it ourselves,” he told Vogue UK.

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Burberry’s Runway to Reality allowed VIP clients to order directly from the catwalk, on custom iPad technology within Burberry stores

Editors such as Vanessa Friedman (Financial Times) and Alexandra Schuman (Vogue UK) have also acknowledged its conceptual relevance, citing “economic pressures on magazines, newspapers and retailers” and the need to cover “a huge amount of collections” as key reasons KCD’s platform could become an industry staple.

Designers and editors alike have mused on the benefits the platform could have on the quality of coverage as well as product, particularly when it comes to autumn and spring pre-collections. Roksanda Ilincic explained it could curb the need for her brand to travel to New York to sell the pre-collection, a process that often delays work on the mainline.

Vanessa Friedman explained that digital coverage could put two pre-collections that currently run sporadically for two months “all in one place, to be viewed and reviewed as a whole in a way that has been impossible thus far.” But she then went on to wonder what this could all mean for the role of the critic, begging the question: “if editorial outlets can get all this information for free, why have a middleman?”


“The platform begins to negate the need for the press. These days brands can reach huge audiences via our own social media.”


Paul Smith concurred, suggesting that the platform “begins to negate the need for the press. These days we can reach huge audiences via our own social media,” he continued. “A brand need only put someone famous in its clothes and eight million people on Facebook can know about it immediately.”

It is doubtful the platform will change the structure of the fashion media in its formative years. Brands may relish the ability to tell their own story in great detail, but it is difficult to think any technology could rapidly replace the current system of press coverage based largely on attendance.

But in an increasingly digital media arena, the system certainly has the potential to enhance the richness – and accuracy – of content and ensure truly global coverage, unrestricted by the costs associated with fashion week travel. For young designers attempting to reach a large audience on a relatively small dime, it makes nothing but sense.

“There is an entire generation of people whose eyes are trained digitally – it’s how they view fashion,” explains Ed Filipowski. “We need to look at our industry and ask how we can cater to that, as well as maintaining the integrity and credibility of fashion while making our lives easier. This way, we can hopefully offer a creative way of offering a front row experience to more than just the usual elite few. This way everyone gets the fashion knowledge.”


To further investigate Fashion & Digital Technology on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

Luxury Society Report: The Digital Agenda
Digital Leaders: Kamel Ouadi, EVP, NOWNESS
The Latest Digital, Chanel, Valentino & Montblanc
Augmenting Luxury Realities: Jonathan Chippindale, Holition


© Luxury Society, The Future of Fashion Week, Decidedly Digital, 6 February 2012, by Sophie Duran.


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LUXURY PROPERTY DEMAND OUTSTRIPS SUPPLY IN LONDON & MANHATTAN

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Located on a Penthouse floor in the Time Warner Center, this Manhattan property is listed with Sotheby’s for $60 million.

Looming economic uncertainty seems not to be affecting the high end property markets of London and Manhattan, instead the wealthy can’t seem to find enough property to buy

A “herd-like mentality” is said to have spurred luxury property buyers in the past several quarters, as the wealthy once again enthusiastically invest in hotspots like London and Manhattan. Despite forecasted economic storms and the liberal use of the words ‘debt’ and ‘crisis’, both locations are currently enjoying such a boom at the high end of the market, that demand has outstripped supply.

According to real-estate broker Savills Plc., the number of London houses and apartments that sold for more than 5 million pounds rose 31 percent to 262 in the nine months through September. Over in Manhattan, the supply of apartments for sale over 5 million dollars, reached the lowest level for an October since 2007. As Shari Scharfer-Rollins, SVP at the Corcoran Group brokerage puts it: “Inventory is down and demand is up.”

Christie’s recent State of the International Luxury Market report suggested that scarcity of property was driving up luxury real estate prices, particularly in top cities such as London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York and Beverley Hills. The report also went on to muse that sellers worldwide have adapted to a new reality in luxury housing and are beginning to accept that their residence is not going to command the same price that it might have in 2007.


“Market activity and optimism increased throughout 2011. Inventory is down and demand is up.”


Resultantly, market activity and optimism increased throughout 2011. Christie’s went so far as to identify ‘a lack of quality housing inventory’ as the biggest challenge markets were to face in the coming months. A sentiment this week echoed by Jason Haber, CEO of New York real estate broker Rubicon.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Mr. Haber revealed that his agents were now cold-mailing townhouse owners around New York City, to see if anyone might consider selling. “That’s not something you would do if the market was flush with high-end inventory,” he said of the strategy. “That’s a sign of the times. This is a ready, willing and able buyer and we can’t find the product for him.”

In London – albeit for varying reasons – luxury homebuyers are having similar troubles. The locals especially, following news that of the number of London houses and apartments that sold for more than 5 million pounds, overseas buyers comprised 65 percent. Knight Frank identified wealthy southern Europeans as buyers of properties worth at least 1 million pounds in London’s well to do Chelsea and South Kensington, generally as pure investments, second homes, or accommodation for children studying at university.


“This is a sign of the times. We have a ready, willing and able buyer and we can’t find the product for him.”


Investments identified as particularly timely by Philip Beresford, compiler of London’s Estates Gazette Rich list. “London is doing well on the back of the luxury market as the world’s billionaires flood in, either as investors in the property market or buyers of top end properties as bolt holes in these very uncertain times,” he revealed to Reuters.

Particular interest has been noted from Italy, Greece and Spain, where the wealthy are said to be attracted by the security and stability of the London property market, as well as liquidity and well-kept property registers. “We’ve got Italian and Greek buyers who have confirmed that view … They want to have money in a safe haven, preferably not a bank, or stocks because it is too volatile,” remarked Nick Candy, development manager and designer of One Hyde Park.

The 1 billion pound development is home to apartments ranging from £7 – £136 million pounds each, which are according to Mr. Candy, attracting interest from buyers currently experiencing instability in home markets. “We have a lot of viewings going on from any country that has got economic or political turmoil,” he told Reuters.


“ The dollar is weak and foreign buyers find that they can get more in New York City as an investment than they used to be able to ”


And then there is the issue of currency. Property agency Knight Frank recently revealed research suggesting that Chinese buyers benefited from a 24 percent purchasing power discount based on the Yuan-sterling forex rate between the peak of the prime London housing market in March 2008 and October 2011.

Chinese luxury home buyers were said to be leading a legion of “cash-rich non-UK investors” in search of upmarket London homes, with demand driven by currency exchange rates that produce discounts of up to a quarter on purchase prices. A similar tale unfolds across the pond in Manhattan, as Ms. Scharfer-Rollins confirms: “The dollar is weak and I think foreign buyers find that they can get more in New York City as an investment than they used to be able to.”


© Luxury Society, Luxury Property Demand Outstrips Supply in London & Manhattan, 21 November 2011, by Sophie Duran.


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